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Popular Lawrence bakery destroyed in fire gets closer to re-opening as owner had vowed

Lawrence bakery set to reopen this summer after devastating fire
Lawrence bakery set to reopen this summer after devastating fire 02:07

LAWRENCE - A popular bakery plans to be back in Lawrence, Massachusetts this summer, more than a year after a devastating fire.

"My dream was destroyed"

When Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes bakery burned down in March 2023, the owners could only watch as their future went up in smoke.

The fire destroyed Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes on Essex Street on March 17, 2023. CBS Boston

"My dream was destroyed in front of me, and I couldn't do anything about it," owner Danaris Mazaris told WBZ-TV.

She vowed not to give up. They opened a temporary shop shortly after the fire and began rebuilding. A new location is starting to take shape.

The new Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes bakery in Lawrence under construction on April 11, 2024. CBS Boston

"It gives me hope"

"When I see the construction, it gives me hope, and I feel like it's a new opportunity," said Mazaris. The family promised to come back to Lawrence. 

"We did it one time. We're going to do it again," she told WBZ last year.

But even with donated equipment and financial support from neighbors, it hasn't been easy. Insurance covered some of the damage, but the family had to come up with about $500,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.

One of many challenges

Challenges are nothing new to the bakery owners. In 2009, Mazari's future was uncertain with a baby on the way and a house in foreclosure. She relied on her family for support.

"One day, my mother gave me some money to help me to buy food," Mazaris told WBZ. Instead of buying groceries, she bought baking ingredients to make flan, and the rest is history. She opened her shop in Lawrence in 2015 and that flan is her best seller.

Danerys Mazara (right) celebrates with her team at Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes in Lawrence in October 2022. CBS Boston

"That process made me feel strong," said Mazaris. It's a lesson she'll use to build her bakery once again. "I'm very proud of myself, my husband, my family. I'm very blessed."

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